wonders of the highland
kjölur - laxárgljúfur canyon
Only for private groups upon request
Only for private groups upon request
Join us on a truly adventurous ride across the fascinating highland of Iceland on the true wilderness routes along huge glaciers and through lava fields! We travel with a small group in the traditional style with a large herd of free running horses and stay overnight in rustic mountain huts. Visit the Golden Waterfull Gullfoss, the breathtaking Brúarhlöð canyon and the hot springs of the Geysir area. Enjoy fine views of the terrific colorful Kerlingarfjöll mountain range, ride along the majestic Laxárgljúfur Canyon and follow the footsteps of the ancient Icelanders at the parliament site of Thingvellir National Park. Relax in the geothermal natural bath of the Secret Lagoon and the natural pool at Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort. During this circle tour you will cross several glacial rivers on horseback, ride along narrow trails through vast lava fields only accessible to horses and will feel the indescribable freedom of the highlands!
On this tour we will travel with our wonderful warmhearted hosts Hjalti and Ása from Kjóastaðir farm who know this part of the highland better than anybody else. Look forward to home- made food with love and wonderful singing in the evening! The food provenance is mainly sourced from local family farms and the ultra fresh vegetables come from nearby Flúðir area where the greenhouses are heated with geothermal energy. This tour is only recommended for experienced riders that are capable and happy to ride for up to 6-7 hours/50 km a day. You should feel comfortable riding in all gaits over rough terrain and be willing to follow the speed of the free running herd.
Type: Multi days tour with spare horses running along in a herd
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights/ 7 riding days
Operated by: Trusted partner of Exploring Iceland
Level of expertise required: Only experienced riders in good physical shape.
Area: Across Iceland between the huge glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull.
Accommodation: Mainly in sleeping bag accommodation in rustic mountain huts. Accommodation in Reykjavik not included but can be arranged.
Meals: Full board during the ride
Included: Geothermal Natural baths Secret Lagoon & Kerlingafjöll hot pool.
Max: 14 guests Min: 6 guests
Guide: English speaking. Other languages upon request.
Maximum Weight: 110 kg
Price: Depending on group size
Bookings via booking engine below or send request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Day by day itinerary
Day 1: Reykjavík - Thingvellir – Geysir - Gullfoss – Tungufell – Secret Lagoon - Kjóastaðir
Pick up at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík or your accommodation at 8 am. If preferred we can arrange a pick up at your accommodation in the capital area between 7 and 8 am. We drive to Thingvellir Nationalpark, situated right on top of the midatlantic ridge and a heaven for everybody interested in geology
and history. We can clearly see the landrop caused by the plates drifting apart. At Thingvellir, the ancient parliament, was founded and our guide will take you to all the major points of interest and tell you about the amazing judical system of the past. We continue by bus to the magical geothermal Haukadalur area with its hots springs and erupting geysirs and to the Golden Waterfall Gullfoss. At Kjóastaðir farm we enjoy a light lunch and introduction to the Icelandic horse, its tack and the special gait tölt before heading off to our first ride to Brúarhlöð canyon and the beautiful valley Tungufellsdalur. After the ride we enjoy a bath in the Secret Lagoon, a natural bathing hot spring before returning to Kjóastaðir farm for a wonderful home made meal in the cozy dining room. Riding distance: ca. 15 km.
Accommodation Kjóastaðir: made up beds in 2-4 bed rooms w/shared facilities.
Day 2: Tungufell – Helgaskáli
After a plentiful breakfast we fix our lunch from the buffet and head towards the horses. Today we leave the farming countryside and head up to the highlands. Now we leave civilization behind and ride only through uninhabited areas for the next days. Only sheep and polar foxes will greet us during the day. During the ride we enjoy views of the huge Bláfell mountain (1204m), a distinctive, flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a glacier or ice sheet. These types of volcanoes are very rare, being confined to regions which were covered by glaciers and had active volcanism during the same period. The giant Bergþór used to live in Bláfell mountain, look forward to his lovely tale!
Riding distance: ca. 20 km.
Accommodation Helgaskáli: Simple and basic hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in autumn. Inside toilets. 3 rooms with a total of 24 bunkbeds.
Day 3: Helgaskáli - Leppistungur
We continue our ride underneath the long Geldingafell mountains with beautiful views of Kerlingarfjöll mountain range right ahead of us and Langjökull glacier towering to the west. We will be riding through beautiful rich meadows and a fascinating desert like area to our next hut situated underneath the colourful Kerlingarfjöll mountains.Truly a day of variations in landscape and topography and true wilderness where only the wild geese and few roaming sheep will greet us!
Riding distance: ca. 35 km.
Accommodation Leppistungur: Simple and basic hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in autumn. Outside wc. Bunk beds for up to 24 people.
Day 4: Leppistungur - Kerlingarfjöll
Today is going to be a riding day with breathtaking scenery when we ride from Leppistungur into the beautiful mountain range of Kerlingarfjöll. Truly an unforgetable adventure when we ride into the steep canyon that brings us to our hut. We stay overnight in the Moutain Nature Resort and go for a walk to the natural hot pool situated next to a cold river. This is sauna Icelandic style!
Riding distance: ca. 32 km
Accommodation Kerlingarfjöll: Cozy mountain hut right close to a natural geothermal bathing pool! WC and shower on site.
Day 5: Kerlingarfjöll – Fosslækur
Today we will be going the beautiful Kerlingarfjöll Mountain area. Depending on weather we can choose different routes to get to know this amazing wilderness even better. Listen to stories of the famous outlaws Evyindur and Gréttir and the terrible fate of the Reynisstaðir brothers who found their final resting place at the end of the 18th century. Their wretched expedition across the highlands in 1780 has fascinated Icelanders for many centuries and many mystical stories have sprung from their ill fated travel. Tonight we stay in the most authentic mountain hut found in the area!
Riding distance: ca. 30- 55 km - depending on route chosen.
Accommodation Fosslækur: Original turfhouse hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in the autumn. Very basic but beautiful and authentic!
Day 6: Fosslækur – Svínárnes
Today is going to be a short riding day to give the horses a well deserved rest. After a late and sumptious breakfast we start for our scenic ride south to Svinárnes hut underneath the slopes of Mt. Bláfell. Enjoy an evening walk to the river Sandá and a last night in the mountains underneath the midnight sun!
Riding distance: ca. 20 km.
Accommodation Svínárnes: Simple and basic hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in autumn. On two floors. More bunkbeds in outside turfhouse. Outiside wc. Sleeps up to 20 people comfortably.
Day 7: Svínárnes - Laxárgljúfur Canyon - Tungufell - Kjóastaðir - Reykjavík
Today is going to be our last day of riding and it is going to be a day with breathtaking scenery! Today´s ride will take us along the magnificent canyon Laxárgljúfur. We ride along the river Laxá, the „Salmon river“ and enjoy amazing views over the almost 200 m deep canyon. At Tungufell farm civilization will greet us again! We cross the river Hvíta at Brúarhlöð canyon bridge and take the horses home to Kjóastaðir farm for a well deserved rest! The riders await a lovely good bye coffee and cake treat before we drive back to Reykjavík. Drop off at your accommodation or at BSÍ Busterminal. Please note that the accommodation in Reykjavík is not included but we are more than happy to arrange it for you!
Riding distance: ca. 40 km
Please make sure you also read our Useful Information about Riding Tours
Exploring Iceland reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables should the necessity arise. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.
To find the price in your currency: Currency converter
- Transfer from Reykjavík to farm on first day and transfer back to Reykjavík on 7th day
- 1 night in Kjóastaðir guesthouse in 2-4 bed rooms w/shared facilities in made up beds
- 5 nights in sleeping bag accommodation in mountain huts during the tour
- Full pension during the tour starting with lunch on the first day and ending with coffee and cake on the 7th day
- 7x riding days according to program
- 1x visit to Secret Lagoon & Kerlingarfjöll Pool
- English speaking guide. Other languages upon request.